The Giggle Gems – the world’s most adorable husband and wife musical duo – met in college, and their musical love affair began, as found on their Facebook page “on a hot summer night in a midwest college town over Burger King chicken fries.” For nearly a decade, the two have been making music together as a singing/production team, with work placed with brands such as Disney, FOX, NBC, Porsche, The Emmy Awards, etc. They are currently working on their debut EP Emerald, due out later this year.
MOSHERY caught up with the amazing duo to learn a little bit more about their background, what makes them tick, and what’s to come. Check it out!
MOSHERY: If you could introduce yourself to our readers in any way, with money not being a factor, how would you do so?
Laura: We’d fly everyone out to The Big Island in Hawaii, have a drum circle on the beach, eat freshly picked tropical fruit and macadamia nuts, and watch the sunset.
Keith: So, basically take everyone on our honeymoon.
M: Where do you originally hail from? How do you think that has aided in shaping who you are and how you live your life?
Keith: I’m from Springfield, NJ.
Laura: And I’m from Highland Park, IL.
Keith: We come from similar backgrounds, and went to college together…
Laura: It’s where we met.
Keith: So I guess we have a kind of shared context for how we see the world. All things considered, we were brought up to value love and compassion, honesty and hard work, so we see those things at the center of who we are today. Though we may never reach common ground on the pronunciation of water, or the validity of “soda” vs. “pop.”
M: We know you’re college sweethearts, but how did you two meet by the way? What’s this love story?
Laura: We met at Northwestern University performing in a summer musical. We really hadn’t spoken through the whole process, but then on the last night of the show, before the opening number, everyone was going down the line hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy closing. When the two of us reached other, our lips met for a split second and something electric happened. We just kinda saw each other for the first time. After the first number we started talking backstage and basically didn’t stop. I drove a bunch of people home that night and sneakily dropped Keith off last. I pulled over on East Railroad Avenue, we made out, and that was that! We tied the knot in October 2010 in Chicago. You can actually watch a video of a song Keith wrote and performed for me at our wedding here:
M: How old were you when you started getting into music? What is your musical background like?
Keith: I was three years old when my parents took me to Disney World. When we returned I climbed up onto the spinet piano my dad had just received in lieu of payment from an elderly client of his. According to my parents, I started playing the tune of “It’s a Small World” from memory. After that I started piano lessons, tried my hand at a dozen other instruments as well, and eventually focused on orchestral clarinet. I actually started college as a clarinet major but once I discovered I could make some cash conducting and playing piano for theatre productions, I switched my major to that. When I went into my clarinet professor’s studio at the end of my freshman year with my tail between my legs to tell her the news, she just looked at me and said, “Yeah, we all saw that coming.” Guess I hadn’t been practicing that much.
M: You have created music for Disney, FOX, NBC, Porsche, The Emmy Awards, and more. Plus, you’ve collaborated with some amazing celebrities. What was all of that like? Was there a moment where you just lost it?
Keith: We really feel so blessed to have collaborated with so many fantastic, legendary artists. It’s been interesting to see that while there are certainly standard practices, so to speak, every project, every studio, every artist is different. It keeps us on our toes. Neither of us gets super star-struck in general, but there are definitely pinch-me moments. Like, for about two years now we’ve been touring with Jason Alexander. He’s become a great friend, and is truly a remarkable man. But growing up in New Jersey, the Friday night tradition was to go over to Grandma and Grandpa’s, say the Sabbath prayers, eat some stuffed cabbage, and watch Seinfeld. So getting to hang out with someone who helped my family laugh and spend time together all those years is definitely one of those. We’ll be performing with him again in Portland this October.
M: We see that you cite Sonny & Cher and The Carpenters among several other influences. What bands/sounds/people can you add to that list?
Laura: It’s a long list. I mean, we did our first dance to Jon Brion’s “Here We Go” at our wedding, Steely Dan and the Beatles are frequently playing at home, and we’re big jazz fans, too. John Pizzarelli, Nina Simone, Jane Monheit, Ella Fitzgerald.
Keith: We’re not ashamed to be top 40 junkies, too. So pretty much anything that’s played on mainstream radio since 1994 is on the list. I feel like our generation is more musically open-minded than many before us. We’ll listen to Springsteen, Sinatra, Snoop, and Adele back to back. Variety’s the spice of life.
M: What are your favorite things to do/places to go/people to see where you live? Give the travelers and the dreamers something to write home about!
Laura: We live in Los Feliz, CA and love our neighborhood! Hiking in Griffith Park, getting tacos from our local taco stand Mixto, and vegan ice cream from this incredible new soft serve place called Magpie’s. When we have a whole day to ourselves, driving to the westside for smoothies on the beach is heaven.
M: Top songs you’re listening to right now. GO!
Keith: “Girls Talk Boys” is a serious jam. Also, the new Suicide Squad soundtrack is fun.
Laura: I’ve been on a Bowie kick, specifically “Life On Mars?” And this song “Fighters” by Lupe Fiasco is at the top of my Spotify playlist.
M: What is the best video you’ve ever seen?
Laura: Stranger Things on Netflix. Blew. Our. Minds.
M: If you could tour with anyone—living or deceased—who would it be, and why?
Laura: The Beatles in the 60’s, because could it get any better than that?
Keith: It could not.
M: What is one thing that you think is underappreciated in this world? Rant about it!
Laura: Sardines! They’re incredible little fish that provide so many vitamins and nutrients to so many living organisms. And there are great fisheries catching them sustainably. Vital Choice is our favorite, and also Cole’s.
M: What kind of advice do you have for creators and artists everywhere?
Laura: Keep your mind open to change, because you never know what decision may lead you down a path of inspiration. And trust your gut.
Keith: Work on your skills, but don’t be afraid to share where you’re at with the world.
M: What can you tell us about Emerald?
Keith: It’s still very much a work-in-progress, but we’ve been having fun playing with ideas of musical magical realism, lyrically and sonically, to create a kind of heightened atmosphere. Not all the songs will have the same vibe as “Lucky Squirrels,” but our love of allegorical storytelling will most likely be a common thread. It might get political, but we’ll see.
M: Anything else you’d like to add?
Laura: MTV requested a *CLEAN* version of “Lucky Squirrels,” so for anyone who wants to show their kids, you can find that new version here.
Keith: The NSFW version is still available here.